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The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Chapter Two—Page 15

90 Comments on The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Chapter Two—Page 15

Um, who wouldn’t they dare cross? I don’t get it… Why does The Annihilator always have to speak so cryptically?!

So! I’m back from SDCC and I had a really awesome time getting to meet so many of you! What’s next for me Con-wise? GaymerX, a convention for gay comic lovers and gay gamers, August 3-4, 2013 in San Francisco, CA! There are only a few days left to get a badge online (you have to do it before 7/26/13!) but if you use the code “Yaoi911” you’ll GET $10 OFF AN ATTENDANCE BADGE! It’s going to be a lot of fun so I really hope to see you there! (You can read more about attendance and getting a badge here.)

Oh, and

***THIS IS A BONUS PAGE!***

Our second bonus page in a row! And look below! We’re already at $125 towards the next bonus page!

Special thanks, a warm welcome and grateful bow go out to new supporters Jake S., Kartik S., Neil F. and Rashel I. for their generous donations over the last few days!

Big hugs go out to new friends of The Young Protectors Lisa J. & Elizabeth B. and also to long-time friends alterra s. & Paul L. for their super-generous $25 donations! And this makes both alterra’s and Paul’s fourth super-generous donations to this comic! Thank you so much Lisa, Elizabeth, alterra & Paul!

Thank you all so much for your generous support!

So! Kyle has just gotten the 411 about his new life as an adult superhero. The Annihilator has reminded him of The Power of Friendship. And now, Kyle’s hands are suddenly shaking. Is this the onset of a tropical disease? Is it just a slight chill (and will The Annihilator be gentleman enough to offer his jacket)? Or is something else going on?

Tune in this Saturday to find out! Hope to see you there! 😀

If you particularly enjoy any of these pages and use Facebook, please click the Like button on that page. It’s useful to know what’s working and it helps me get the word out!
  • Soubi

    Now…I’m even more worried about you Kyle than I was a few pages ago. Go enjoy your happiness (and the sex) and if he hurts you…-shakes fist- 😉

  • Adi Zeller

    I have a creepy feeling that we are now touching upon the real reason the date was set to this specific day…

    There are more ways to “mess” with someone, after all, than plain old physical attack…

    • Soubi

      MHM

  • toli Bera

    Horny shaking, or scared shaking?

    • Swiftnissity

      Or perhaps…poison shaking?

      • toli Bera

        BUM-BUM-BUH~!

    • ClosetPervert

      Emotional shaking, maybe? I can see it in my mind’s eye… “Oh Anni I’m so touched… LET’S MAKE SUPER HERO LOVE”

      …or something like that.

      • toli Bera

        well… Super __________

      • krissdevalnor

        HAHA I thought the same thing XD

    • Garry Leonberger

      For a virgin with psychological trauma associated with orgasm and an inherent fear of his homosexuality as disqualifying him in the eyes of the public as a role model?
      Both.

      • toli Bera

        that’s actually… really insightful.

  • StarrySkyDancer

    For some reason, in the back of my head, the theme of My little pony friendship is magic started playing XD

  • I think the moment he said “under the age of 18” every reader unanimously said “…fuck.”

    • Klaus

      That is what they are there for.

  • Antipyretic

    ‘Always be safe with him’?

    Wasn’t this the same guy who, after shoving him through a portal, made sure PP had the magic proof invisibility pixie dust? He knew a head of time he was putting Red into mortal danger AND about the dampening field device.

    Annihilator talks sweet but also consider he keeps filling Red’s glass to lowered inhibitions and loose lips. (Something to note, he actively enables Red to mess up, but doesn’t actually cross the line of making him do anything. I guess this is an important angle of this ‘honor among thieves’ thing?)

    Red also questioned Annihilator on the trip if he started the arson fire. Assuming he’s not lying (which isn’t safe by Annihilator’s own admission) there’s still other ways he could be behind it without getting his hands dirty. A goon of his, Platinum Priestess? Maybe it was a by the book arson but he fanned it along? Annihilator and Platinum Priestess sing a sweet tune, but it’s easy to forget they want something else.

    And what are they after? I suspected they’re after Red’s youth, but then why go through all the song and dance earning Red’s trust? There’s also interest in Red’s power origin, which might infer they have a mission they want him to do? (Perhaps related to the dampening field item earlier?)

    _~_~_~_~_~_~_

    While I’m analyzing the story here, lets look at the young protectors themselves…

    Granted, it may not exactly be relevant to ‘this’ particular comic, but I’ve been stewing over what’s happened so far and I think I’ve got a few ideas where the comic is headed.

    The first thing I noticed when the Young Protectors were introduced, were that Fluke’s powers don’t fit the standard superhero arsenal. His are catalyzed by plot. Everyone else on the team has typical automatous powers. (Flight, fire, telepathy, water, and vaguely defined ghost themed powers) Throw in that Fluke didn’t think twice about sacrificing his car and that he’s one of Red’s best friends, we’ve got all the dominos lined up for an ally based betrayal and exodus.

    I’m figuring somehow Fluke learns of Red’s relationship with Annihilator (How isn’t important). And then ultimately blurts it out in front of the team in the name of saving lives.

    How does the team react?

    Fluke doesn’t have any regrets. His only priority is saving lives. Red feels betrayed.

    Spooky is theorized to be a planted government agent, so he’d be under obligation to report it. Red feels sold out.

    Commander would be FURIOUS with Red for, at best, jeopardizing the team’s shaky standings with the law and big hero teams; throwing all her hard work down the tubes and proving all the doubters right. Red feels ashamed.

    Tsunami, regardless of how you perceive him, would object on principal to Red’s relationship. “You were dating WHO?! Where’s your head? He’s a VILLIAN. You’re smarter than that!”. Red’s got salt in the wound.

    Which leaves Flyboy, who seeing all the tension, ‘might’ at best offer words of solace to Red out of earshot, but I seriously doubt would confront the main team. And that’s assuming he doesn’t think everyone else makes a good point.

    I’d be surprised if Red doesn’t leave the Young Protectors and starts chill’n with the villains full time, or at least until the next big plot twist.

    • Klaus

      What spooky is obliged to do and what he actually does might not be the same thing.

      • Antipyretic

        True. But reporting in on Red and still being his friend are not two mutually exclusive things. Red might not see it that way, granted. But I see it as Spooky’s way of fulfilling the rule of drama without necessarily making him Red’s enemy. I wrote all the team’s reactions in that mindset.

    • Nightshadengale

      It’s clear that he knew there was a risk they might be seen and/or attacked, but I don’t think you can necessarily accuse him of knowing about the dampening field. It’s possible that the reason the powder works is that the “superpower” part is the act of actually creating the powder, and once created it’s too dissimilar to the type of thing (people invoking powers) that the dampener is supposed to stop.

      • Antipyretic

        Maybe, but Anny’s powers seem to be the always on type, invincibility being the most glaring. I don’t think that theory works. Besides, there was a lot of talk for a simple invisibility pouch. Conservation of detail.

    • Jamie Dutton

      Lol, I’m sorry but did you really just call The Platinum Priestess a “goon?” Sircea is a villainess in her own right. I do believe in her intro, she was doing a favor for a ‘friend.’ Not hench work or anything close to it. I’ve got plenty of reason to think that she’s up to her silver thigh high boots in whatever scheme is underway. But, purely for her own Machiavellian reasons and not just as Anni’s follower.

      • Antipyretic

        Sorry, that comma was meant as a list of who I suspect Duncan might have hired. I did not intend it to be read as a colon.

      • Klaus

        Sircea gave me the impression of being very powerful. I voted for the combat scene to be Spooky and PP, but I think she could sweep the floor with him.

    • kaycee1967

      WOW… just WOW… I love the analysis but there’s a lot of underlying cynicism in just what life can give you.
      I think, IMHO, that you’re a little off on your analysis on Spooky, Flyboy and Fluke. The ‘betrayal’ won’t come from within. It will come from the outside. Sircea, is my primary suspect, based on nothing more than she likes to stir the shitpot. She gets her jollies from it.

    • Angie Penrose

      The only plot point that seemes to support your theory, I think, is the invisibility dust Duncan arranged for ahead of time. You can assume he set the whole scenario with Mutt and Jeff up in advance if you want, but I don’t think so. Even though he hadn’t said so yet, I think he intended at that point to always protect Kyle.

      Duncan knew that Kyle would be compromised by being seen with Duncan, no matter who saw him — hero, villain, anyone could’ve blabbed and Kyle’s rep as a hero would be ruined. I think Duncan got the invis powder from PP so he could hide Kyle, just in case he needed to. I don’t think he set anything up with either the fire OR Mutt and Jeff’s shenanigans; I think he was just prepared for whatever might happen.

      Aside from the way the story’s been going, this also fits with the meta issues, which your Duncan-is-really-evil theory doesn’t. Alex is a romantic, and his stories are romances. Duncan has to turn out to be Kyle’s guy. 🙂 And I’d be very surprised if that were to work out with Duncan turning Kyle to the dark side. I still don’t think Duncan’s a “good” person, from the POV of your classic super hero, but I don’t think he’s evil, either, and in fact — if we can believe him, and I think we can — he’s not even as much of a bad guy now as he was when he was younger. Most of the super heroes will hold his past against him (and that’s not completely unreasonable) but I think Kyle’s going to end up with the guy Duncan is NOW, which is a basically decent person, who’ll use violence or even kill to protect people he cares about, but who won’t hurt people just for his own jollies, or for wealth (he has all the money he needs, and better ways of making more), or because someone gives him a dirty look.

      Basically, I see an HEA coming on, and evil!Duncan doesn’t fit that. 🙂

      Angie

      • Alex is indeed a romantic. His previous comics have definitely been romances. Is The Young Protectors ultimately a romance as well? Will Duncan turn out to be “Kyle’s guy”?

        We’re just at the beginning of Chapter 2 of a five chapter story and these are very good questions. Only one thing is certain—that I love the thoughtful debate y’all are having!

        • Angie Penrose

          Glad you’re enjoying the discussions. 🙂 Looking forward to the next three-point-whatever chapters!

          Angie, who’s still betting on Kyle-and-Duncan 😀

      • Antipyretic

        I can see how you’d think I’m playing Annihilator as a mustachioed villain. My argument on the first post was clearly one sided so I don’t blame you there.

        My argument is thus:

        Yes, Annihilator is a romantic, yes, he feels he has Red’s best interests at heart.
        No, he won’t make Kyle do something he’s unwilling to do.

        On the other hand, being smitten with someone, doing what you thing is best for them and having ulterior motives are not mutually exclusive things. I don’t see a conflict with Annihilator taking Red under his wing and seeing how to best take advantage of it under his own moral code whatever that may be in context.

        I don’t know what Platinum Priestess and Annihilator see in Red, beyond the aforementioned romance plot. Whatever it is, it isn’t the traditional money, power, and land motivations. It’s not strategic intelligence. I don’t think it’s something as simple as ‘join our merry band’. Whatever it is, it’s a game where Red isn’t being given the full story. That alone is worth discretion with present company.

        And I didn’t mean to infer Kyle would turn EVIL™ once he out lived his welcome at the Young Protectors. More like Annihilator would welcome him in with open arms to his crew, not unlike X-Men’s Brotherhood. He spends a chapter or so there, plot happens, and might rejoin his old crew.

        And on the topic no, I don’t think he out right collaborated with the vigilantes. He didn’t have to. He’s a well known villain figure and he wasn’t exactly incognito. It’s like being a cat in a dog pound. You don’t actually need to ‘do’ anything to start anything.

        • Angie Penrose

          I can definitely buy that Duncan has something going that he hasn’t told Kyle about yet. [nod] In fact, to keep this going over three-point-something more issues, that’s pretty much a given. 🙂 The question is what it is, and whether Kyle would see it as a good thing or an evil thing, and whether — even if it looks like an evil thing at first — it might turn out to be good, or at least not evil-evil once All Has Been Revealed. 😀

          Angie

  • TheGodEaters

    Okay, a few of my thoughts. The entire purpose of this night was Kyle’s first time. I don’t think there was any underlying motivation for Duncan other than to give Kyle a memorable evening. Of course I could be wrong but as I said before I don’t think Kyle was giving out new information that Duncan didn’t already know. Plus if we go by what was drawn Kyle had two glasses of wine. (and the bottle looks pretty full to me in that third frame) I don’t think Kyle’s little slip of the tongue was from getting tipsy, I think he honestly forgot for a moment that Duncan is supposedly “one of the bad guys” and was talking to him more as a friend/mentor/lover. (last one is my fondest hope.) XD

    And last, but certainly not least, it appears from the last few frames that we are going to start moving into the more intimate portion of the evening. We have hand holding people, with possible sweet talking to come!!

  • Khun David

    I’m half expecting those candles to flame up in the next page or two.

    • TheGodEaters

      Burn, baby, burn?

    • Titan4Ever

      My thoughts exactly, like suddenly unexpected bursts licking the ceiling . . .

  • Jamie Dutton

    FINALLY, those last 2 panels make me think the exposition part is winding down. Though Alex could keep us dangling…but please at least let us see some friggin kissing already! Oh whoops, my overly eager fangirl self got out *grabs a broom and shoves her back into the hall closet*

    But on a serious note, from the way Duncan is talking, the death or at least deliberate injury to a young hero has occurred before, hasn’t it? Will we ever hear more about that, Alex?

    • Possibly. But at least in the next several pages, we’ll be exploring… other things. 😉

      • Jamie Dutton

        Yay for other things and a winky smiley face! Alex, you are such a tease, lol. But we loves ya anyway, lol.

  • Kyle might just have had an emotional realization, but I think the hands shaking is staying because he suddently got his focus back on why he was there, and with who. Holding both hands.. that’s seduction..
    Duncan turned the intimate sphere on again, and things are getting hotter by the minute. I see more touching coming 😉

    This page! I have so much more I want to say about it and the whole scene, but I’m on my out of the door so it will have to wait until later ._.

  • Sapfo

    Seams to be some fire coming on soon.
    And Duncan, you do look fine in that suit and smile.

  • kaycee1967

    So, anyone want to look again what I wrote last week… heh! The Young Protector has his own Protector… I’m not saying Duncan and Kyle aren’t in for a wild ride (well, maybe it will be once Alex gets them into the bed; Ya hear me Alex? ROFL) … but the two of them are what is called ‘kismet’.

    I’m a TERRIBLE romantic at heart. It is at the depth of my own writing.
    I think Alex is a romantic as well… Its what makes this comic and Artiface so wonderful.

  • kaycee1967

    To Klaus and Amaya posts… my response…

    “Time for the Boy Butter!”

  • Wayne Lunkwitz

    This brings back memories…..wanting something so bad it hurt….but because the other person was like Duncan…he told me ONLY if my parents agreed to the trip (He was a thousand miles away and I was young)….suffice is to say the trip never happened…and it makes me sad. I see the shaking Kyle is experiencing as both wanting and being afraid of what will happen at the same time…not a good combination.

  • Interpolation

    Oh, I can answer your question Alex. It’s the fans that the super-villians wouldn’t dare cross. Some nasty somebody hurts Kyle, the fans will mob them. With torches. 🙂

  • Vik-Thor

    I laughed at the fact that Anni puts quotes around the word hero. 🙂 Not obviously something that would be obvious to the ear (though there are tones of speech that could be indicated, )

  • Garry Leonberger

    I love that my Spooky-as-government-plant theory is catching on! 🙂

  • Yukiness

    Love the tension in the last two panels. Hope that sprinkler system is online

  • YG_Frenchie

    I was hoping that Anni would reach and touch his hand or something. With the rose petals in the background makes it even more romantic.

    *is le happy* <3

  • Holly

    aww Kyle. Are you hands shaking from fear for your life after that revelation, Or because Duncan is TOUCHING YOU!?

    You’re thinking about what’s coming aren’t you?

    Another amazing page. I love this story so much!

  • Madock345

    I like the way kyle is drawn in that second to last panel, he looks very cute.

    • Klaus

      He looks so young in the penultimate panel.

  • Shinashi

    *perverted wheezing*

  • Saxon_Brenton

    Hmm. I’m thinking that the pieces fit, at least from Anni’s point of view. He purports to be an anarchist. Further, When interrogated by Kyle has admits that he has no liking for seeing innocents suffer, even if he then qualifies that statement with the opinion that ‘innocent’ is just another word for the dangersoulsy ignorant in the modern world. Further, Kyle unearthed those reports of ‘Robin Hood’ style activities. On the edvidence so far I’m guessing that Anni’s personal philosophy runs towards something like ‘the strong take what they want’ moderated by a bit of empathy for other people. There also seems to be a streak of egalitariansim in there, such he gets cranky over people abusing children – probably because they haven’t accumulated enough experience or power to properly defend themselves.

    And given his concluding statement in panel 1 it seems that even if he’s no longer doing active, high profile public crime he still finds his reputation as “the world’s most dangerous supervillain” a useful tool for scaring other villains into keeping their criminality within certain limits.

    (Whether all of that is a justified assumption on his part remains to be seem. Anni is smart, and also smart enough to fall prey to the hubris of intellectual arrogance.)

    Meanhwile: 10 points to House FanNerds for those people who guessed that Kyle would pick up on the fact that he’ll soon be no longer a child and protected by that convention.

    Also: from the little smile on Kyle’s face on panel 5, I’m guessing he’s overcome by Anni’s declaration of affection (which may be seguing into lust) – but it might also involve the a large measure of shock from what he’s just been told as well.

    • John

      I suspect he also works to maintain his perceived strength among villains in a way he no longer needs to with the rest. I suspect he’s been more active fighting villains than fighting any other major group out there.

    • Nightshadengale

      Depending on what he did with the money, taking down drug lords may not actually be that “Robin Hood”-y. If he kept it, it’s a lot like robbing banks with the added benefit of making you look like the good guy. That could still be motivated out of slight empathy that doesn’t extend to giving the drug money to charity, but it could also be completely calculated.

  • Amanda

    Dying………………………..love storylines…………………..but need hot guy kissing to survive……………………..heeeeeeeelp…………….

    • Klaus

      Dying to survive. Seems counterproductive to me.

  • Preludetoa

    So I have this crazy theory that both heroes or villains will try to take out members of the young protectors once they turn 18. Are any other members of YP 18? If so then this theory is dead.

    I also have a crazier theory that the Commander is Anni’s daughter. CRAZY, right?!

    • DoktorNauk

      I think only fluke and flyboy are under 18.

    • Only ones under 18 is Flyboy, just turned 15, and Fluke who’s almost 17.
      I don’t know about Commander but I know she’s must be older than Spooky who’s 21 (Alex told me his age) and I think I saw somewhere that Tsunami is 20. Might be wrong about that one though.

      • Spooky is actually 20 and both Tsunami and Commander are older than him. But yep, that’s right! 🙂

        • Ah, so that’s how it was. I switched them 🙂

        • Jackal

          So I *am* going to hell for thinking Flyboy and Tsunami would be cute together. Good to know. XD

  • amanda

    AAHHHHH!! I love it an it is soooo sweet

  • Klaus

    I hope that Duncannihilator has clothes for both of them stashed a safe distance away. Just in case things should get really hot.

  • Que music… *turns on*

    ~It’s getting hot in here – so hot – so take off all your clothes~

    ~I’m gettin’ so hot, I wanna take my clothes off~

  • Klaus

    A friend “they” wouldn’t dare cross. That only works if “they” know about it.

    • Saxon_Brenton

      Well, crap. I should have thought of that:

      “Duncan, I don’t think I can make a workable career as a successful superhero based on the reputation of being ‘The Annihilator’s boyfriend’.”

      • Jamie Dutton

        Omg, I had the same thought!

        • Titan4Ever

          Ah, but who’s to say the Annihilator needs to make so specific an announcement? Surely, a flat but very public, “Hands off the Young Protectors–They’re MINE” would do. He need not even say why he’s invested. To be told this world’s greatest super-villain is keeping a watchful eye on this team for whatever purpose should keep other villains away.

  • John

    Dagnabbit. Why can I never find out about gay-themed cons in England until AFTER they’re done (I know the one you’re talking about is in America; I just did a bit of research into them near me)

  • Kalynn Osburn

    *squeel* OH MY FRIGGIN GOD! ah they are so cute!

    • YG_Frenchie

      Heeeeey girlfriend! I forgot you followed this comic too! Nice to see familiar names around here 🙂

      • Kalynn Osburn

        Sup! Yes I follow this. There is no where near enough good yaoi in this world.

  • Jim Baker

    I love the comic! Can’t wait to see more!

    I have just one question: We’ve seen that the technology to suppress power use exists, and that it works on Kyle (The dampener from the Hong Kong battle). Why doesn’t Kyle have one? The entire arc we’re on right now (having to be in an isolated area, in a building no one cares about, with someone fireproof) could be short-circuited if he’d stolen that dampener instead of blowing it up. I’m not saying it was out of character for him to blow it up; that was a great hero moment for him, and the expressions on the two thugs’ faces were absolutely hilarious. It’s just that, if he was really as concerned with being able to experience physical pleasure as he seems to be, he should have made the “Hey, I need to get me one of those!” connection during the conversation with Duncan after the fact.

    • Mimi

      That’s actually a good point. Although given the choice, I would guess that the with-Duncan-with-powers experience trumps the no-Duncan-no-powers experience 🙂

      • Donatien

        Or if you’ll allow a line of thought like mine, it could be he wants Kyle to feel that he has something of his own to depend on. He may like Anni but the truth is that Anni is still the ‘villain’ here, and there’s always going to be that voice of doubt anyone gets in the baby beginnings of a relationship. Taking away his power for a night of romance would probably… well… make one feel too vulnerable to relax.

    • YG_Frenchie

      I thought about that too. Every story has its little loopholes, but then there wouldn’t be a story about him and Duncan if he just stole the dampener. I thought maybe Duncan would get him one to take home for when the ‘mood hits’ and they’re not together or something. That’s what I’d do for Kyle as a second birthday present?

    • Thank you, Jim!

      And the answer to your question gets discussed in a later chapter, but this hardly feels like a real spoiler so I’m happy to answer it here (at least, in regards, to the information Kyle has). Until Kyle saw that dampener in action, it was his understanding that that technology didn’t exist. It would definitely be useful for his condition, so in the intervening week he tried to perform some discreet research, but came up with the same answer: as far as is publicly known both in the mainstream and super-powered communities he has access to, that technology doesn’t exist and shouldn’t be able to exist. Duncan would have told him the same thing if Kyle had asked after the fight. Perhaps Hunter & Killer have more information, but Kyle and Duncan did not return to interrogate them before exited through another of The Platinum Priestess’ gates back to the U.S.

      Does Kyle plan to continue pursuing the answer to this? Absolutely! This would indeed be an answer to a dream! But there were no public news reports of a “power dampener” in use in HK, so he has to be a bit careful, lest he reveal he was part of that whole thing. It’s clearly something he shouldn’t know about. Perhaps he’ll get around to asking Duncan to find out for him (we’ll see), but that’s a big favor to ask from “the most dangerous super-villain in the world” and TBH, his main focus was just seeing how their second date went.

      As for why he was willing to blow it up instead of trying to take it during the fight? It simply never occurred to him to put his own needs in front of saving another’s life. The thought never occurred to him at all. And if you asked him later, he’d say he’d do it the same way all over again.

      • Jamie Dutton

        Wow, love your answer, Alex! Makes me think about that whole situation in a new light and dangit, now I gotta go back and read it again. Lol, which will be the 4th or 5th time already but who’s counting. Can’t wait til I get my physical copy…:)

      • Jim Baker

        Very good to know, thank you! I wasn’t trying to imply he should have stolen it; blowing it up was a) the easiest and fastest option and b) very in-character for a pyrokinetic. I just wanted to know if he was thinking about it, as that was not addressed directly, and it felt like something he should have noticed. Glad to know he did! Also glad to know he’s being cautious about his inquiries… he’s much smarter about this whole superhero secretiveness thing than I would be.

  • KNT609

    Throw him down and MOUNT HIM XD

  • PinkFlower69

    Alex, looks like you owe us another bonus page lol
    Keep it cuming! xoxox 😉

    *cough* i meant “coming”

  • Soubi

    I sense a kiss coming on.

  • Camille Martin

    SQUEE! Your hands are shaking!! XD

  • I am literally sobbing. I want this to happen so bad. I have never shipped a pairing like this (and there are dozens of “this”s that are causing that statement), and still I ship it almost as much as some of the top favourites. That’s saying something because I am mere inches away from worshipping those and fighting physical wars on their behalf.

  • Chrome_chan

    I just wish they’d get to the point (if you know what i mean).

  • YangYueLan

    I have been lurking since Thursday.

  • Demie Duken

    ANNI STAHP
    You are piling on the charm tonight!